The Debate -
A heavily debated topic within the BBQ realm is whether to cook a brisket fat-side up or fat-side down. We are here to answer the question once and for all: cook brisket fat-side DOWN.
Many believe the theory that when a brisket is cooked fat-side up, the fat renders and naturally braises the brisket. This is not true.
1. Oil and water don’t mix in life or in BBQ, and a brisket contains both — oil in the fat cap and water in the red meat. Fat will not keep the brisket moist if cooked fat-side up.
2. Besides not actually braising the brisket, cooking fat-side poses a risk: The melting fat cap will drip down the meat, potentially washing away the seasoning on the beef.
3. An additional disadvantage of cooking fat-side up is poor presentation. While being smoked, the presentation side is on the grill grates, preventing the formation of a uniform bark.
What are the benefits of cooking brisket fat-side down? This method offers the best brisket presentation, a uniform bark formation, and does not run the risk of melting fat washing away seasoning.
For smoked brisket recipes, see our collection here.
How do YOU Traeger your brisket?